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Customer Review

on 7 April 2010
Probably the most enjoyable of the the four books by Weir I have read, although all of them were great. I think her strength is in tracing the stages of negotiation, of gradually shifting positions, whether she's writing about Elizabeth I's ongoing refusal to marry and enter into alliances with other European nations, Henry VIII's weighing up of political, religious and personal needs, or in this book the various claims of heredity, competence and gender in determining succession.

She comes down pretty firmly on the Yorkist side, but the real theme of this book is the saintly incompetence of Henry VI, as astonishing character in this portrait.

She presents him as totally unable to stick to a decision when even the slightest pressure was brought to bear on him. And yet despite all the difficulties this brought for him he puts up with it with never a complaint and forgives almost everybody. In turn, for decades, the English people forgive him in return (unlike say Richard II).

Hard to put down.
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